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Comparing Amazon international prices..
March 8, 2004 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Pricenoia compares prices at every Amazon store available, adding shipping costs to your country.. It's not just the usefulness of the tool (specially for those that live somewhere different than the US and are used to check every price at least at a couple of Amazon stores), but what it means for the global commerce and how the net helps to raise worldwide prices.. Do you buy at your local amazon? Or do you check prices everywhere? Amazon offers confidence to its users, once you buy there you don't try any other online bookseller, anywhere.. Is it going to be the bigger global bookstore, online or offline? Sure.. It's the beginning of the dot.com takeover!!!
posted by 12345 (23 comments total)

 
I didn't even know there were different prices/stores to choose from.
posted by agregoli at 10:07 AM on March 8, 2004


I wonder why it doesn't include Amazon France or Amazon Canada?
posted by arco at 10:08 AM on March 8, 2004


Is it going to be the bigger global bookstore, online or offline?

Amazon has, of course, an amazing selection, will ship almost anywhere, and the site has been setting the standards for personalized e-commerce since its inception. The only place smaller booksellers can compete is price, and a little research can save you quite a bit over Amazon.

That being said, the publishing and book distribution industry is scared to death of Amazon Marketplace, where customers can buy used or new books from other sellers for much lower prices. Many publishers will now only sell their stock with the promise that none of the titles will appear on Marketplace. That's not to say that Amazon can't become so powerful that they can determine their own inventory policies (much like Walmart in many markets), but "Amazon" is becoming more and more of a dirty word to publishers.

Anyway, back on topic, isn't Amazon already the biggest bookseller online?
posted by jess at 10:15 AM on March 8, 2004


Amazon offers confidence to its users, once you buy there you don't try any other online bookseller, anywhere. .

I use Powells.com and never even consider buying anything from Amazon anymore. It is my own (if flawed) way of keeping a somewhat less sullied conscience for not buy totally local. OK so I bought from up the freeway but it's sorta local.
posted by Danf at 10:39 AM on March 8, 2004


If you really want to buy local (in the U.S., at least), check out Booksense.com or the Independent Online Booksellers Association. In the UK, there's ibooknet and probably others I'm not aware of.
posted by arco at 10:47 AM on March 8, 2004


I predict that this won't last long. There's something about import controls that reminds me of DVD CCA and their crack down on imports with region encoding. Because books are published at different times in different countries, I can see some type of lawsuit from the major publishers saying that this erodes profits or some such.
posted by taumeson at 11:07 AM on March 8, 2004


the publishing and book distribution industry is scared to death of Amazon Marketplace

As they should be. But there are so many other ways to buy used items online (Ebay and the used book market) you have to wonder if this is not another case like the music industry fighting the realities of the Internet eventually the business model will change.
posted by stbalbach at 11:18 AM on March 8, 2004


Are there any examples of something someone in the US can buy cheaper from another amazon store? I browsed around a bit and didn't really see anything from my cursory examination.
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:27 PM on March 8, 2004


Congratulations for whoever had the idea. I also like the fact that the site's design is clean.
posted by 111 at 12:43 PM on March 8, 2004


Are there any examples of something someone in the US can buy cheaper from another amazon store?
Textbooks, perhaps.
posted by ssukotto at 12:48 PM on March 8, 2004


Yes. In case that didn't work, the book is "Russia and the USSR in the Twentieth Century: With Infotrac" ISBN: 0534571956. It is a well known secret that textbooks from the major publishers are deliberately overpriced in the US. When I know several weeks in advance what textbook I'll need I check amazon.co.uk, usually I can save a bundle. Even with the extra shipping thrown in. Example:
SITE: Price USD Shipping Total
amazon.com $68.95 68.95 $ 3.99 $ 72.94 $
amazon.co.uk £22.99 42.37 $ 12.86 $ 55.23 $
posted by Grod at 12:49 PM on March 8, 2004


Interestingly with my above example Canadians pay slightly more than Americans. Any Canadians here care to tell me if they ever use amazon.ca or just go straight to Amazon.com?
posted by Grod at 12:52 PM on March 8, 2004


Are there any examples of something someone in the US can buy cheaper from another amazon store?

In general, for US. citizens DVDs are cheaper if you buy them from Amazon.ca than through "regular" Amazon, because of the exchange rate. (Though there are many online DVD retailers that undercut both of them.)

Another issue is items that you can buy from one Amazon store but not from another. For example, you can buy this book from Amazon.ca and Amazon.fr, but not from Amazon.com. Usually this involves items in other languages or published in, say, Canada or the UK but not the US, but it's something to be aware of nonetheless.

Different Amazon stores have different restrictions on shipping certain items, like software. For example, here are the restrictions that Amazon UK has in place.
posted by arco at 1:01 PM on March 8, 2004


If they refitted Best Book Buys to include international sites, it'd be damn near perfect.
posted by abcde at 1:03 PM on March 8, 2004


arco asked: I wonder why it doesn't include Amazon France or Amazon Canada?

Because this tool is built on Amazon Web Services, which so far offers access only to the four listed databases: US, UK, Germany, and Japan.
posted by macrone at 1:33 PM on March 8, 2004


If you click "compare prices" on an item, it includes the prices at amazon canada and france.
posted by donth at 2:41 PM on March 8, 2004


I like the fact that I can succesfully use amazon.de, without being able to read German.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:00 PM on March 8, 2004


how the net helps to raise worldwide prices..

Not sure I see the logic you're applying to this. Surely the net is acting to reduce prices in this scenario. The recommended price would be the one that is specified on the particular national site, the opportunity to look for alternatives gives greater potential for finding a lesser price.
posted by biffa at 4:03 PM on March 8, 2004


Ops... was DROP, not RAISE :) little error..
posted by 12345 at 4:24 PM on March 8, 2004


This doesn't take into account the discounts non-Europeans seem to get from .co.uk - I'm not sure why, but my amazon.co.uk DVDs always get discounted 10-15% after I tell the shopping cart I'm from Canada (some kind of EU tax included in the item cost?). For example, the David Attenborough Box Set 2 goes from 63GBP to 53GBP on checkout. Doesn't seem to work with the Russian textbook, unfortunately...

Grod - apart from ordering R2 DVDs from .co.uk, I use .ca exclusively - you might save a couple bucks ordering from .com, but Canada Customs charges $5 to even look at your package, on top of whatever they decide to charge in duty. And .ca orders usually get here in two days instead of three weeks.
posted by Gortuk at 5:30 PM on March 8, 2004


Wow. I just ordered XTC's singles collection, FOSSIL FUEL, from Canada as opposed to the US or UK stores (it's a UK CD, it was never released in the US), and it saved me $10 in the process. That's pretty freakin' hot...
posted by logovisual at 7:14 PM on March 8, 2004


Gortuk:

That might be because you are VAT exempt (a 17.5% tax). There is no VAT levied on books or newspapers, so there should be no "extra" saving if you order them.

In the UK, taxes should be included in the retail price, not added on afterwards, hence your 10-15% saving.
posted by davehat at 2:28 AM on March 9, 2004


Cool. I just ordered a Canadian CD from amazon.ca and not only did I save >$10, It was delivered the morning after it shipped (I don't know if the fact that I live so close to the Canada had anything to do with the quick delivery).
posted by gyc at 4:42 PM on March 9, 2004


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